Considering the popularity of shonen anime series like Dragon Ball, One Piece, or Naruto, it can be said that any good anime is bound to have some intense martial arts action. Demon Slayer shows audiences life as a supernatural swordsman in Japan’s Taisho Era.
The secret to the incredible power Demon Slayer‘s swordsmen wield is linked to the Breathing Techniques they employ. These techniques come in a wide array and can help slayers by offering a boost to both offense and defense. That said, some of these attacks and abilities are naturally more useful than others.
Updated on May 25, 2023 by Ajay Aravind: Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer is one of the most influential works of shonen anime out there. This show has established many benchmarks that future series will undoubtedly follow. Although there are many Breathing Styles, each with its own range of techniques, there are only a few abilities that stand out from the crowd.
15 Beast Breathing — Seventh Fang: Spatial Awareness
Most forms of Breathing have been derived from Sun Breathing, or Hinokami Kagura. That said, Inosuke Hashibira managed to create the arcane art of Beast Breathing all by his lonesome. This style replicates the movements and behavior patterns of wild animals, making for rather unpredictable combat.
The Spatial Awareness technique, in particular, vastly enhances Inosuke’s sense of touch, allowing him to pick up on subtle changes in the surrounding area. With this move, Inosuke could lock in on the location of a demon in the middle of the forest on Mt. Natagumo.
14 Love Breathing — Sixth Form: Cat-Legged Winds of Love
Mitsuri Kanroji’s Love Breathing is unique, although it’s fundamentally an offshoot of Flame Breathing. The Love Hashira is a masterful fighter, having developed numerous uses for this Breathing style. Mitsuri employs an expandable weapon, a whip-like blade with incredible range, but she can also rely on ordinary katanas.
Forms one through five of Love Breathing are certainly incredible, but none of them are as majestic and imposing as the Sixth Form: Cat-Legged Winds of Love. Also known as Neko Ashi Koi Kaze, this ability allows Mitsuri to unleash several slashes in a rather brief period. Enemies are all but obliterated at this point.
13 Flower Breathing — Final Form: Equinoctial Vermilion Eye
Flower Breathing’s Final Form, subtitled Equinoctial Vermilion Eye, boosts the user’s kinetic vision to its maximum potential. Doing so allows them to perceive the world as if everything was in slow motion, giving them more time to react.
This technique is as dangerous as the consequences are for using it. Overuse of this technique can cause blindness, since it places heavy strain on the blood vessels in the eye. Equinoctial Vermilion Eye comes in handy during Kanao Tsuyuri’s fight against Doma, the Upper Moon Two.
12 Thunder Breathing — First Form: Thunderclap And Flash
As explained by the relatable Zenitsu Agatsuma, Thunder Breathing focuses on the user’s leg strength, allowing a human to reach lightning-quick movement speed. The Thunderclap and Flash technique happens in an instant, beginning and ending with the sword in its scabbard.
This technique is actually basic to Thunder Breathing. Unable to perform any of the other Thunder techniques, Zenitsu was luckily capable of mastering one. He’s more than able to perform the move consecutively (including the Sixfold, Eightfold, and Godspeed varieties).
11 Water Breathing — Tenth Form: Constant Flux
The Water Breathing Style is among the common techniques in Demon Slayer. Tanjiro himself uses this ability, at least until he unlocks the Hinokami Kagura. Water Breathing can be extremely efficient, but this style is also unwieldy and dangerous in inexperienced hands. Characters like Giyu Tomioka are adept at Water Breathing.
Of all the eleven known forms of Water Breathing, the Tenth Form: Constant Flux is arguably the most destructive. Tanjiro unleashes this form during his duel with Rui, spawning a massive water dragon in the process. Constant Flux continuously magnifies the initial attack, making it useful against overpowered opponents.
10 Wind Breathing — Seventh Form: Gale, Sudden Gusts
The agile, almost erratic movements of the Wind Breathing Style represent the Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa perfectly. These techniques are characterized by many sweeping motions and slashes that appear to be simultaneous.
The first few forms are certainly impressive, generating vast quantities of attack power and producing calamitous results. However, the Seventh Form: Gale, Sudden Gusts is one of the most potent techniques in Demon Slayer. Sanemi’s Seventh Form spawns high-octane winds on par with a small hurricane, which can easily obliterate most demons.
9 Beast Breathing — Tenth Fang: Whirling Fangs
Inosuke Hashibira devises all ten forms of Beast Breathing over the course of the story, starting with First Fang: Pierce and ending with Tenth Fang: Whirling Fangs. Also referred to as Enten Senga, this technique requires Inosuke to rotate his twin weapons at ridiculous speeds, effectively resulting in a helicopter-like motion that can block, parry, or even deflect various attacks.
Some fans might claim that the Eighth Fang: Explosive Rush is stronger than the Tenth Fang, but there’s really nothing that comes close to Whirling Fang in Inosuke’s wild arsenal. Besides, he’s the only major character who relies exclusively on melee-based combat.
8 Water Breathing — Eleventh Form: Dead Calm
The iconic Water Hashira Giyu Tomioka originally didn’t think himself worthy of his position in the Demon Slayer Corps. Yet, he was skillful enough to master the first 10 Water Breathing forms, not to mention developing one of his own.
Eleventh Form: Dead Calm is a defensive technique expressive of Giyu’s own personality. It allows the user to negate the attacks of the enemy by ceasing their own movements. There is, however, a limit to the number of successive attacks the technique can withstand.
7 Mist Breathing — Seventh Form: Haze (Obscuring Clouds)
Muichiro Tokito is already a master swordsman at just 14 years old. The youngest Hashira is so talented at Mist Breathing that he creates his own technique, known as Seventh Form: Haze/Obscuring Clouds.
This ability is used to trick and disorient the enemy by using fast movement speeds while hidden, and shifting to slower movements while out in the open. Unlike Zenitsu Agatsuma’s Thunder Breathing: Seventh Form, which doesn’t necessitate the manifestation of his Demon Slayer Mark, Muichiro needed to activate his in order to win.
6 Insect Breathing — Dance Of The Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag
Shinobu Kocho’s Insect Breathing Style is similar to Inosuke’s Beast Breathing, but it copies insects rather than animals. There are only four forms to this style — Butterfly Dance: Caprice, Dance of the Bee Sting: True Flutter, Dance of the Dragonfly: Compound Eye Hexagon, and the deadly Dance Of The Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag.
This final form of Insect Breathing depends on the user’s zigzag movement pattern, which is supposed to disorient any enemies. Even Doma grudgingly praises Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag, stating that the force generated by this ability is not something to be taken lightly.
5 Wind Breathing — Ninth Form: Idaten Typhoon
Sanemi Shinazugawa is considered to be one of the strongest characters in Demon Slayer, and for good reason. His Wind Breathing Style is nothing less than devastating, especially when he decides to take a fight seriously. There is a significant gulf between the Eighth and Ninth forms of Wind Breathing.
Although Primary Gale Slash is enough for most opponents, some overpowered villains can’t be brought down without the Idaten Typhoon. In fact, Sanemi severs Muzan’s arm with Idaten Typhoon, demonstrating the sheer power contained within this technique.
4 Thunder Breathing — Seventh Form: Flaming Thunder God
This Thunder Breathing technique, developed by Zenitsu, was likely inspired by Tanjiro’s Dance of the Fire God. The Flaming Thunder God technique is completed in an instant and is depicted with the head of a dragon striking at the sword hand of the user.
Fans didn’t expect much from Zenitsu in the early chapters/episodes of Demon Slayer, but this cowardly character more than proves his worth by the end of the story. The Seventh Form: Flaming Thunder God, or Honoikazuchi no Kami, allows Zenitsu to release the bulk of his power while moving with incomprehensible agility.
3 Stone Breathing — Fourth Form: Volcanic Rock, Rapid Conquest
As the legendary Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima’s fighting style differs from the other Breathing forms. It relies mainly on the meditative techniques he uses to focus his mind and body.
With the Volcanic Rock — Rapid Conquest form, Gyomei simultaneously employs his flail and spiked ball to attack his opponents, spreading destruction over a wide area. Using this move, Gyomei can nearly match Kokushibo’s Moon Breathing, even before activating the Demon Slayer mark.
2 Moon Breathing — Sixteenth Form: Moonbow, Half Moon
The Moon Breathing Style used by Upper Moon 1 Kokushibo draws on his expertise as a Demon Slayer in the Sengoku Era, as well as his Blood Demon Art. Formerly known as Michikatsu Tsugikuni, this overpowered villain has had hundreds of years to perfect his alre
ady formidable skills.
The Moonbow, Half-Moon technique is performed with the multi-bladed form of the katana created out of Kokushibo’s flesh. One swing of the sword causes many slashes over a wide area, with miniature crescent-shaped blades slicing along the sword’s path almost randomly.
1 Hinokami Kagura — Thirteenth Form
The Thirteenth Form of Hinokami Kagura was meant to defeat the strongest demon in existence and was created by Yoriichi Tsugikuni, a man who could nearly kill Muzan on his own. The technique incorporates all 12 previous techniques in rapid succession in order to increase their accuracy.
Hinokami Kagura isn’t enough to take down the Demon King when each form is used individually, but blending them together into the unnamed Thirteenth Form is a different matter. Tanjiro attacks Muzan’s multiple vital organs with this technique, greatly weakening the villain.
NEXT: Demon Slayer: Every Main Character’s Age
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